"The A&E treatment received was brilliant but..."

About: East Surrey Hospital

My son broke his elbow on Sunday 18 May so we took him to A&E. We were taken straight to the children's A&E where the service we received was impeccable. We were passed from triage nurse to doctor, for xray and back to nurse then doctor with ease and clear communication. The plastering of the arm went well and the overall experience was excellent. My husband and I were treated with respect and had everything explained to use through the process. We both sang the hospitals praises afterwards. The follow up for myself to contact the fracture clinic left somewhat of a disappointment when I was just unable to get through to anyone on the phone to assist me. We have been back today for a follow up and again the service was very good. Everything was explained to us and my son treated well and a new cast set. We had to book another follow up appointment and as the department was extremely busy I was told it would get booked in later in the day when the rush had gone and I would receive confirmation in due course. I have now been trying for 1 hour and 40 minutes (and still hanging on!) getting through to appointments to confirm that one has been set. That is where East Surrey Hospital lets themselves down. I appreciate that maybe people calling in is of a non urgent matter but to have to wait nearly two hours to speak to appointments is ridiculous. A broken arm is not the most tragic event but for someone with something serious or more life threatening how upsetting to have to wait that period of time. As I finish this article I am still waiting and the time on my phone is 1 hour 44 minutes and I am 2nd in the queue. Lets hope the department does not close before I get through!!

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Responses

Response from Bethan Borrett, Digital Communications Manager, Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Claire,

I am pleased to read that you had a good experience when you first attended the Paediatric Emergency Department with your son.

However I am sorry to hear about the problems you encountered when trying to book a follow up appointment for your son. I have spoken to Jackie Brown, Head of Outpatient Services who asked me to pass on the following message.

“Unfortunately our NetCall System was down all day and not repaired until the weekend. Both the Trust, BT and NetCall were involved. We have had several complaints through other means one of which suggested we should have an email address on the letter for use in such events which is a good idea and one I will progress with Synertec.

However in your case the follow-up appointment should have been made at the desk at the time as the outpatient booking offices whose phone system was down would not have booked this follow-up appointment. Therefore I think that unfortunately you were wrongly advised. Nevertheless I do understand your frustration because when you did try to get through to the appointments booking office you were unable to.”

Kind Regards,

Bethan

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Response from East Surrey Hospital

I am pleased to read that you had a good experience when you first attended the Emergency Department. However I am sorry to hear about the problems you encountered when trying to book a follow up appointment for your son. I have spoken to Jackie Brown, Head of Outpatient Services who asked me to pass on the following message. “Unfortunately our NetCall System was down all day and not repaired until the weekend. Both the Trust, BT and NetCall were involved. We have had several complaints through other means one of which suggested we should have an email address on the letter for use in such events which is a good idea and one I will progress with Synertec. However in your case the follow-up appointment should have been made at the desk at the time as the outpatient booking offices whose phone system was down would not have booked this follow-up appointment. Therefore I think that unfortunately you were wrongly advised. Nevertheless I do understand your frustration because when you did try to get through to the appointments booking office you were unable to.” Kind Regards, Bethan Digital Communications Manager

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